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Excessive Dispersion of US Stock Prices: A Regression Test of Cross-Sectional Volatility

  • Ian Tonks

    ()

  • Andy Snell
  • George Bulkley

In this paper we apply a regression test of the volatility of asset prices to a cross-section data set of US stock prices each year between 1932-71. We show that the rejection of REEM in the time series domain carries over to a data set consisting of observations on a cross-section of individual share prices within a particular year, and we refer to this phenomena as excess dispersion of stock prices. In nearly all of the years over the period 1932-71 we find that stock prices are excessively dispersed. This finding is consistent with the existence of a firm specific bubble which drive a wedge between the values of pt*and pt. We go on to examine the relationship between the mis- pricing and market fundamentals which we take to be related to past dividends. Assuming that dividend yields proxy for growth expectations we find that investors are unduly optimistic about high growth stocks and too pessimistic about low expected growth stocks. Our results suggest that there must be a microeconomic source to this mis-pricing.

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Paper provided by Financial Markets Group in its series FMG Discussion Papers with number dp246.

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Date of creation: Jul 1996
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Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp246
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/fmg/

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  1. Kenneth D. West, 1986. "Dividend Innovations and Stock Price Volatility," NBER Working Papers 1833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. LeRoy, Stephen F & Porter, Richard D, 1981. "The Present-Value Relation: Tests Based on Implied Variance Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 555-74, May.
  3. Basu, Sanjoy, 1983. "The relationship between earnings' yield, market value and return for NYSE common stocks : Further evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 129-156, June.
  4. Board, John & Bulkley, George & Tonks, Ian, 1993. "A cross-sectional variance bounds test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 373-377.
  5. Bulkley, George & Tonks, Ian, 1989. "Are U.K. Stock Prices Excessively Volatile? Trading Rules and Variance Bounds Tests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1083-98, December.
  6. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1062-88, October.
  7. Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 421-36, June.
  8. Ackert, Lucy F & Smith, Brian F, 1993. " Stock Price Volatility, Ordinary Dividends, and Other Cash Flows to Shareholders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1147-60, September.
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  10. De Bondt, Werner F M & Thaler, Richard, 1985. " Does the Stock Market Overreact?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-805, July.
  11. John Y. Campbell, Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(3), pages 195-228.
  12. Campbell, John Y, 1993. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing without Consumption Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 487-512, June.
  13. Donaldson, R Glen & Kamstra, Mark, 1996. "A New Dividend Forecasting Procedure That Rejects Bubbles in Asset Prices: The Case of 1929's Stock Crash," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(2), pages 333-83.
  14. Scott, Louis O, 1985. "The Present Value Model of Stock Prices: Regression Tests and Monte Carlo Results," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 599-605, November.
  15. John H. Cochrane, 1991. "Volatility Tests and Efficient Markets: A Review Essay," NBER Working Papers 3591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Robert B. Barsky & J. Bradford De Long, 1993. "Why Does the Stock Market Fluctuate?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 291-311.
  17. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  18. C. Gilles & S.F. Leroy, 1990. "Econometric Aspects of the Variance-Bound Tests: A Survey," Carleton Economic Papers 90-07, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 1991.
  19. Chen, Nai-Fu & Roll, Richard & Ross, Stephen A, 1986. "Economic Forces and the Stock Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 383-403, July.
  20. LeRoy, Stephen F & Parke, William R, 1992. "Stock Price Volatility: Tests Based on the Geometric Random Walk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 981-92, September.
  21. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
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